Posted by: gbcoach | July 29, 2009

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

YES, this is the title of the amazing and easy-to-read book by Susan Jeffers… the one book that has had such a huge impact on me personally. I realised while reading her words that if I waited until I was less scared to take action, then I’d do nothing. Literally. Stay in my inertia. Contracted and fearful. But if I just reassured those parts of me that were scared and then continued to take ACTION, everything turned out okay. Nothing is ever as bad as we imagine. Literally feel the fear and do it anyway. This may sound a simple concept – probably because it is! Beautifully simple.

Go on.. take a risk!

Go on.. take a risk!

If you look back at times you’ve taken risks and it’s all gone well, I’m sure you were wondering afterwards: “Hey, what was I worried about?” By projecting our fear into a future event that hasn’t even happened yet, we are doing ourselves a serious disservice – and staying small. I have no idea who made up this acronym but F E A R can be translated to: False Evidence Appearing Real.

Fear is a very real emotional response to perceived threats and danger, but if it’s applied to a future event, then it controls us. And we can see so clearly how well we are controlled by fear with the media’s current dissemination of the ‘swine flu’ message. Read journalist Jane Bürgermeister‘s blog on that one to get the FULL fear-busting picture!!

Tips on facing your fears
1. Don’t repeatedly dwell on what ‘might’ happen.
2. Take action.
3. Take action.
4. Take action.
5. Feel the fear and do it anyway

Benefits of facing your fears
1. You will become more confident.
2. You’ll trust your own intuition more.
3. You’ll find an inner strength you didn’t know you had.
4. You’ll expand, not contract and be healthier and less likely to get sick.
5. You’ll realise that if you step out of your own way, there is nothing you can’t achieve.
6. You’ll feel more ALIVE!

Happy fear-busting! And remember…

DO NOT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU THINK!

Posted by: gbcoach | July 11, 2009

Podcast: Using Your Intuition

Click on the link below to listen to the podcast.
http://lifecoach.jellycast.com/files/audio/Intuition.mp3

Trust your intuition

Trust your intuition

In my latest podcast with Paul Bailey (visit our motivational podcasts at www.actionpodcast.com) we discuss the fine art of accessing and using your intuition. Do you often have a gut feeling to do something, a calling perhaps? Do you follow it through with action, or just ignore it?

Using your intuition as a way to finding solutions to current issues can bring greater meaning and clarity to your life. Simply ask yourself: “What do I love?” and you will hear your intuition speak. It’s a simple as that!

Your intuition speaks the truth. Follow your intuition, instead of your rational mind, and you’ll be much happier as a result. Solutions will come quickly, and you’ll instantly know the ‘right’ thing to do.

PHOTO: http://www.happiness-information.com

Posted by: gbcoach | June 20, 2009

Video interview with Catch21 on Youth Coaching

Young people today face a whole set of challenging issues. In a brief interview with Catch21.co.uk –  the UK’s first youth political internet TV channel (based at Westminster) – I talk about the benefits of youth coaching and how it can help young adults to access their intuition and achieve their goals in life.

Link:

http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=gina+baksa&emb=0&aq=f#

Posted by: gbcoach | May 14, 2009

The Power of Podcasting

Here’s an interview my fellow ActionPodcaster Paul Bailey and I did recently with James Watson from www.CoachesWebMarketing.com

We talk about the impact blogging and podcasting has had on our own coaching careers – and the great news that we have just recently had our 5000th download! Well done team! You can tune in to our weekly motivational podcasts at www.actionpodcast.com

Click on this link to listen to the interview: http://tinyurl.com/qg336q

ActionPodcast.com

Posted by: gbcoach | May 5, 2009

The fine art of listening

not-listening3THINK BACK… to the last time someone really listened to you.
I mean really listened. For more than a few minutes. Without interrupting. Listening with all their being, until you’d actually finished your train of thought, and in some cases even your whole sentence? Fully present – not while driving, washing up, unpacking the shopping, half an eye on the footy/SATC re-runs; their attention clearly elsewhere. Listening until you came to a natural pause; a complete conclusion?

Not easy, eh? Most of us cannot wait to jump in, proffer our own opinion and then, with any luck completely take over the conversation. Why is listening so difficult?
For those of you who can remember what it feels like to be truly seen and heard – you’ll know what an exquisite feeling it is. Sometimes we don’t want advice or an opinion, we just want someone to be a sounding board; to listen to us. Without judgment and preferably in silence.

Next time you speak with a friend or colleague, make a conscious decision not to interrupt for at least a few minutes. You may get an anxious: “why have you gone quiet?” but if you tell the other person you are, in fact, listening to them, unless they’ve keeled over in shock, they’ll feel sufficiently respected to continue, perhaps at an even deeper level. And trust, me, they won’t forget the full attention you’ve given them!

If you’re lucky to have a good friend, family member or colleague who is happy to give you their silent, undivided attention, then you’re very well blessed! Go give ‘em a big hug…

Photo credit: creativeenergyblog.wordpress.com

Posted by: gbcoach | April 17, 2009

The Power of Intuition

Your intuition speaks the truth

Your intuition speaks the truth

INSPIRED by a fabulous workshop with Darren Eden here in London, Gina and Paul discuss how to tap into your own intuition – and start to live from your greatness!

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO PODCAST: The Power of Intuition

Additional web resources:

http://darreneden.com/

http://www.magiciansway.com/

Image: Courtesy The Magician’s Way by William Whitecloud

Posted by: gbcoach | April 11, 2009

Happiness is…

happiness1

Smile – it's catching!

MOST OF US know that happiness really does come from within – not without.
Our acquisitive culture has made us only too aware of the transient nature of short-term, external fixes. Like a Chinese meal, we’re all too often left hungry after feasting at the table of consumerism!

And certainly no one else can make us happy. What a massive and unrealistic responsibility to place upon another human being. Not to mention totally unrealistic. Nope, we have to get the happiness pill all by ourselves…

And the secret of happiness? Change your thoughts. Nothing outside of you has the power to make you intrinsically happy. You can choose happiness, or you can choose to dwell on people and situations that bring you down. Ditto gratitude. When life takes you down, have a look around and acknowledge all the truly wonderful things you have to be thankful for. Roll around and luxuriate on the grass you’re on now. It’s not always greener the other side!

I’m quoting Dale Carnegie here as he sums up the whole happiness issue perfectly, with a gentle nod to the Bard and one very popular former US president:

Everybody in the world is seeking happiness – and there is one sure way to find it. That is by controlling your thoughts. It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about. ‘There is nothing either good or bad,’ said Shakespeare, ‘but thinking makes it so.’
Abe Lincoln once remarked that ‘most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.’

DALE CARNEGIE

Posted by: gbcoach | April 9, 2009

Podcast: Breaking The Ice

In today’s social networking age of Facebook and Twitter, Paul and Gina explore how to develop your confidence and communication skills with people you don’t know – in the real world!

BREAKING THE ICE

www.twitter.com/londonlifecoach for Gina

www.twitter.com/lifecoach for Paul

Posted by: gbcoach | April 5, 2009

Effective communication

Creating rapport
Other people are our greatest resource. Most everything you’ll ever want in life, you’ll need someone else to help you get it. From dry-cleaning to a promotion. From the fine art of sexual conjoinment, to that convertible you’ve been coveting. It takes (more than) two to tango. You can’t do it all alone. The benefits of creating and maintaining rapport with other human beings are enormous, so unless you’re a natural, it’s an essential skill worth learning.

Make connections

Make connections

So what is rapport?
A dictionary definition describes it as relation; connection, esp. harmonious or sympathetic relation. It’s all about communicating effectively in your life, to strengthen your connection with people and ensure you are understood. And it has its roots in the French verb, rapporter, to bring back. It’s a give and take scenario here. Successful communication is equally important between family, friends, lovers, and work colleagues. Personal development expert, Tony Robbins asks: “Is it more important to be right, or more important to be in love with someone?” Good question!

It’s your choice: win friends and influence people? (Dale Carnegie’s seminal book, originally written for sales people in 1937 is still a best seller) or in the case of journalist Toby Young: lose friends and alienate people [great book/hilarious movie].

When younger, I made little effort to maintain rapport with people who rubbed me up the wrong way. But in hindsight and some age-gathered wisdom, I now see that these people were generally just mirroring aspects of myself I hadn’t integrated or were still completely unaware of. These ‘pain in the butt’ folks were actually my greatest teachers – or would have been if I hadn’t exited sharply stage left. Today, I’m happy to say I rarely dismiss new contacts out of hand, and instead take time to find out what makes them tick. To imagine the world from their view and stand in their shoes for a while. Not easy, but a whole lot smoother on the nervous system than outright condemnation and disregard.

I’ll admit to only just having read Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends And Influence People and will also admit to being blown away by its contents. Despite its much-maligned title, Mr C’s message is as applicable today as it was in the Thirties. And you don’t have to be in sales to benefit. This book has made me sit up and think so profoundly that I’m going to repeat 10 of his building blocks of successful rapport right here:

Don’t criticise, condemn or complain.
Give honest and sincere appreciation.
Become genuinely interested in other people.
Smile.
Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound, in any language.
Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
Make the other person feel important. And do it sincerely.
Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong”
If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
Let the other person save face.

By applying even a few of these each week since reading the book, I’ve noticed a profound change in my relationships with others. Most noticeably is that I’ve become infinitely more interested in other people. Not just people who are like me. But everyone I meet! Every human being you are likely to encounter in life will have an incredible story to tell. And is always worth listening to.

Here are my own tips for creating better rapport:

1.    Make eye contact. And hold it for longer (without the mad staring eye routine)>
2.    Make your body language open. Uncross your arms, avoid covering your heart and turn to face the person you are talking to. This encourages openness and trust.
3.    Show that you’ve been listening by asking appropriate questions. Sincerely. Most people spend 95% of their time thinking about themselves. They love it when you show genuine interest in what you’re doing.
4.    Find common ground from the beginning of the conversation. Generally, people like people who are like themselves.
5.    Listen for verbal thinking preference clues. Is the person you are talking to visual (I see what you’re saying…), Aural (I hear you), Kinaesthetic (How do you feel about?)…
6.    Step into the other person’s shoes and try imaging life from their viewpoint. Not a single person on the planet has exactly the perspective on life. Yet we often imagine other people see things exactly the way we do. Wrong!
7. Match your tone, pace, volume and inflection – without it being obvious – to the person with whom you’re talking. I’m not talking about mimicry here, rather a subtle shift in the way you communicate.

The above points are easy to practice – and you’ll be amazed at the results. Happy connecting!

Photo: http://www.persuasive.net

Posted by: gbcoach | April 3, 2009

Coping with overload

Feeling overwhelmed

We’ve all felt those undeniable feelings: total and utter exhaustion, apathy, emotional shutdown and numbness; no energy, combined with mental and physical meltdown. It ain’t pretty and it sure as hell ain’t fun. Take a sledgehammer to your brain – and then some. Plus the awful dawning realisation that doing it all is, quite frankly, impossible. At which point those gnawing feelings of guilt, futility and uselessness kick in. We attack ourselves for not being able to achieve what we’d set out to do. What a beautiful vicious circle! What total lack of vision and self-care.

Look familiar?!

Look familiar?!

Today, these feelings aren’t just the preserve of overworked executives, working mums and over achievers, increasingly children are actually complaining of being overwhelmed, of having too much to do! How sad is that? In our manic world of human doings, we are running ourselves and our offspring ragged.

Alvin Rosenfeld, M.D., a child psychiatrist and author of The Over-Scheduled Child: Avoiding the Hyper-Parenting Trap, believes that enrolling children in too many activities outside of school can actually lead to children becoming clinically depressed. “Parents feel remiss that they’re not being good parents if their kids aren’t in all kinds of activities. Children are under pressure to achieve, to be competitive.”

Good stress
Some stress is actually beneficial – the flight or flight mechanism actually helps us in certain situations. An increased heart rate and a system flooded with adrenalin certainly helps us to get that project in on time, or avoid hitting the car that’s pulled out in front of us. Or escape a horde of wild elephants. But to be in permanent state of red alert stretches our minds and bodies to breaking point, and is fundamentally damaging to our psyche. Such activity impairs our immune system and prematurely ages us. Nice.

Constant activity
Some of us are juggling jobs, children, husbands/wives, relatives, childcare, friends and running a home. That takes a hell of a lot of energy, not to mention organisation. Many women, especially, never find the time to re-connect with themselves and their energy source. We are often running on empty. Something has to give. We’ve long since realised that the Superwoman myth is just that. And a hollow one to boot! Many people like to fill their free time with constant activity, or simply can’t say no to others’ demands. All habitual ways of avoiding being fully present with oneself.  At huge cost.

Ways to offload and reconnect
Sit down. Shut the door. Take the phone off the hook and take time to consider which areas of your life are out of balance. Be very honest. Then simply take the necessary steps to restore equilibrium.

1. Ask for help. Too many of us believe we have to do it alone. Or we’ll get the job done faster and more efficiently if we do it all ourselves. Drop the desire to control and trust others to help. It works. Delegate – at work and at home. Asking someone for help provides them with an opportunity to give. You are acknowledging them – soul to soul.

2. Reduce caffeine intake. And avoid self-medication to help you relax. A walk in the local park, or a day at the seaside will be far more restorative on your nervous system than several beers, a spliff or some nicotine. Resist the urge for a quick fix. Like sugar, it’s a temporary jolt and you’ll feel like crap afterwards.

3. Do nothing! When was the last time you just sat down and did nothing? Thought nothing? Try it today. Sit in a café for 5 minutes, grab a coffee and watch the world go by. Preferably in silence and alone. The point is to recharge not expend your energy. Or if you have a garden, sit outside and just look at the plants, the clouds. Simply. Do. Nothing.

4. Slow down. Find ways to relax in a healthy way. Do some deep breathing. For overstretched parents: research says that what children need most are relationships, not activities,” says Rosenfeld. “Focus on building meaningful relationships with your children, not becoming their chauffeur.”

5. Talk to someone. Sharing our anxieties with supportive and loving friends and partners makes dealing with the issues so much easier and less overwhelming. Share the load!

6. Take regular exercise. Release some feel-good endorphins via any form of exercise that you enjoy. Give your heart and your lungs a good workout. Swimming is great as it calms the nervous system.

7. Prioritise your tasks. As the saying goes, How do you eat an elephant? One foot at a time. Don’t waste time sharpening your pencil when you have a huge pile of tax returns to fill in. And stop all the procrastination As Brian Tracy so aptly suggests in his great book, Eat That Frog. Every morning consider the tasks overloading you (frogs). Then simply eat the fattest and ugliest frog first. Which task, when completed will give you the most impact?

Good luck!

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